Toddlers: 24 Months+

problems with bedtime

I've created a monster so it's probably only fair that I'm having trouble with this right now.

DD is almost 3 and has never fallen asleep ALONE before. I've held her hand since she was born or layed in bed with her but with #2 coming and my husband working nights I'm going to have my hands full at bed time.

HOW do I get her to g to bed alone??

I started to sit on the floor already so at least I'm not touching her which is fine but as soon as I get up to leave, if she's not already asleep shes up and calling me. I have a gate in her doorway so she stands there and cries hysterically.

Anyone have a similar experience and what did you do??

IAmPregnant Ticker

Re: problems with bedtime

  • This doesn't really address your issue but I have a 3 yo and 9 mo and whenever I have to do bedtime alone I get them both ready, have DS1 crawl into bed and then sit in the rocking chair in his room and nurse / rock DS2.  It works every time!  I usually get them both down easier this way then when my DH is home and we each take one of them.  I guess my point is - when the baby gets here you'll figure out and your older one will adapt.  Best of luck!
  • I did this when my daughter was younger (started around 16mo, iirc), but basically in a long, LONG process:

    1) I would start by staying for a few minutes, then leaving for a few minutes, telling her how long I'd be gone and when I'd be back.  ("I need to leave for five minutes.  I'll be back when five minutes is up.")  Then I would wait, near the door (usually playing on my iPad) and whenever she started crying, I would say "four more minutes" or whatever it was.  I discovered that it sometimes helped if I gave her a concrete task that I had to do ("I need to put away some dishes in the kitchen.")  I would go back in after those five minutes - whether she called me or not, and stay again for a set length of time ("I can stay for 10 minutes, then I need to go again."), always telling her.  I might go back in 10 times in a night (she's always had a hard time falling asleep, so yes, that would mean more than an hour of working on this), but it was always the same pattern, with no limit on how many times I would go in.

    2) Over time, I change the length of time.  Stay for 10 minutes, leave for 10 minutes.  Stay for 10 minutes, leave for 15 minutes.  Stay for 5 minutes, leave for 10 minutes.  Stay for 5 minutes, leave for 15 minutes.

    3) Later, as that was better understood, I said I would come back if she needed me, but not before 15 minutes.  So, if she didn't call me until 20 minutes, I didn't go back in until 20 minutes had passed.  Eventually, she'd go to sleep.

    3) Eventually, I would only go back three times. And I'd remind her how many times of me going were left.

    4) Now, I nurse her, stay with her 10 minutes after that, then leave.  If she *needs* me, I will go in after 10-15 minutes, but only on her calling.  But mostly, unless he can't for some reason, I hand the monitor over to my husband at this point and *he* goes back in.  He does it a tiny bit differently, but much the same.  Sometimes, she just needs some time with us to wind down - something which often takes her over an hour.

    It took over a year to get to this stage, if I remember correctly.  And I progressed only when I felt that she was comfortable where we were at that time and ready to move on.  We probably could have done it a little faster, but not a lot.  Your DD is older, though, so I expect it shouldn't take as long as it took us. 

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